Louis CK’s allegations of sexual misconduct from five different women got him in a lot of hot water. His movie, I Love You Daddy, was pulled from release, his television show, Louie, was cancelled by FX, and generally speaking, Louis CK’s career was destroyed by the incident. Most people felt the reaction was just. And indeed, the allegations, while known to some, were mostly a mystery to the general public.
However, recently clips of Louis CK using the N-word during an HBO special with Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, and Jerry Seinfeld have resurfaced. In the video, Chris Rock makes it known he’s unbothered by CK’s usage of the word, while Jerry Seinfeld takes umbrage with it, according to Indiewire. Seinfeld stated that he doesn’t find any humor in the word.
“Well, you’ve found the humor of it. I haven’t found it, nor do I seek it.”
Since the clip from HBO’s special Talking Funny has resurfaced, Twitter users have been raging at both Louis CK for using the word and Chris Rock for defending him.
The biggest question I have with this is not whether it’s okay for CK to use the word. Clearly there’s a legitimate grievance from people rebuking white performers using the N-word onstage. My question is why are we bringing this up now? Louis CK used the word a number of times during his stand-up special, Chewed Up, which was released a decade ago. He uses it when describing a white man with a ponytail making his coffee, then again when re-enacting his screaming at a deer for hitting his car.
We’ve had 10 long years to exclaim that this is unacceptable, but that never happened. Before he was cast out of the public spotlight for sexual misconduct, Louis CK was revered as one of the greatest living comics, and his past usage of the N-word was well-known and shrugged off by virtually everyone.
This situation is similar to James Gunn’s firing by Disney for making jokes about pedophilia on his Twitter years ago. It’s well known that James Gunn was a horror director and worked with Troma writing some of the least politically correct movies ever made. Why does the public only become outraged at the most opportune moment?
How long before Bob Saget is cast out of the family-friendly sitcom Fuller House when his joke from The Aristocrats resurfaces? How long before we revisit South Park and cherry pick offensive moments from that series to become angry about?
Material from 2008 and 2011 just seems like strange things to bring up in 2018 when the sitting president of the United States has yet to atone for the multiple accusations against him, including sexual misconduct, harassment, and even rape.
That might be something from the past worth revisiting.